Rapper Gunna out of jail after pleading guilty to racketeering conspiracy charge

Gunna, the rapper who was arrested in Atlanta in May as part of a RICO case against the Young Slime Life (YSL) gang, was released from jail Wednesday after entering a negotiated guilty plea on a racketeering conspiracy charge.

The 29-year-old rapper, whose real name is Sergio Kitchens, was sentenced to five years in prison with four years suspended, according to WSB-TV Channel 2 in Atlanta. The one-year sentence was then commuted to time served, with special conditions that include 500 hours of community service.

The rapper’s sentence will be completed once he does his community service, attorney Steve Sadow said. It will include 350 hours speaking to young men and women about the “hazards and immorality” of gangs and gang violence. He must stay away from guns and from his co-defendants unless the communication goes through attorneys or his record label.

Gunna entered what’s known as an Alford plea, which allows a person to plead guilty — while still maintaining innocence — if it’s believed the prosecution’s evidence would likely result in a guilty verdict at trial.

“While I have agreed to always be truthful, I want to make it perfectly clear that I have NOT made any statements, have NOT been interviewed, have NOT cooperated, have NOT agreed to testify or be a witness for or against any party in the case and have absolutely NO intention of being involved in the trial process in any way,” the rapper said in a statement obtained by The Times.

If Gunna is called as a witness by anyone in the upcoming trial, which is set to start in January, “He will testify truthfully, but he reserves his right to assert his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination,” Sadow said.

Gunna said in the statement that he did not consider YSL to be a “gang” when he became affiliated with the group in 2016. He said he thought it was “more like a group of people from metro Atlanta who had common interests and artistic aspirations” and maintained that his focus in YSL was “entertainment — rap artists who wrote and performed music that exaggerated and ‘glorified’ urban life in the Black community.”

“I love and cherish my association with YSL music, and always will,” Gunna said in the statement. “I look at this as an opportunity to give back to my community and educate young men and women that ‘gangs’ and violence only lead to destruction.”

A 56-count grand jury indictment in May identified Gunna, Young Thug (real name Jeffery Lamar Williams) and 26 others as members of YSL, a criminal street gang. Some of the defendants were charged with violent crimes such as murder and attempted armed robbery. Authorities have said Williams and Kitchens are leaders in the gang, but their attorneys have contested the charges for months, the AJC reported.

The indictment also alleged that 31-year-old Young Thug was a founder of the YSL gang and alleged he was linked to offenses in 2013 and 2018. He remains in jail, pending trial, with jury selection set for Jan. 4.

Last week, a grand jury charged the 31-year-old with four additional counts related to a May 2021 incident where he allegedly drove 120 miles per hour on an Atlanta freeway, FOX5 Atlanta reported Tuesday.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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